North Korea
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SKorea's Lee Open to Summit with Kim Jong Il Amid Defense Talks Next Week

South Korea's president pressed North Korea on Tuesday to change its pattern of provocations and take responsibility for two deadly attacks last year, saying that could lead to a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

President Lee Myung-bak's appeal came as the rival Koreas are to hold a preliminary meeting next week to lay the groundwork for high-level defense talks — the first in more than three years — to ease months of hostility on the Korean peninsula that have raised fears of war.

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Could the Next Messi Be in North Korea?

North Korea may have tumbled out of the Asian Cup with just one point and having failed to score, but they have the hottest youth sides in the region and according to one scout the world's best new talents.

Representatives from top European clubs have flocked to the continental showpiece in the hope of picking out the next Hidetoshi Nakata, Park Ji-Sung or even a Lionel Messi.

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S.Korean Army Chief Quits Amid Tension with Pyongyang

South Korea's army chief resigned Tuesday over a controversial property investment, at a time of high tensions with North Korea following its deadly artillery attack on a border island last month.

The departure of General Hwang Eui-Don is a further blow to the South's military, widely criticized for a perceived feeble response to the North's bombardment, which triggered international alarm.

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U.S. Says It's Committed to Defend SKorea, Vows More Joint Drills

The top U.S. military officer on Wednesday warned North Korea that the U.S. commitment to helping South Korea defend itself is "unquestioned," even as he pressed China to use its influence to push its ally Pyongyang to change.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called recent North Korean aggression, including an artillery attack last month that killed four South Koreans, "belligerent, reckless behavior." He said China appeared unwilling to use its enormous leverage to rein in the North.

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S.Korea Starts Exercise, Obama Urges China to Curb Pyongyang

South Korea's military began a major live-fire exercise Monday amid high tensions sparked by North Korea's deadly bombardment last month, as Washington pressed Beijing to curb its unruly ally Pyongyang.

The South, smarting over the unprecedented shelling of a civilian area, dismissed claims by the North that the five-day drill could spark war.

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North Korea Goes Youtube for Propaganda

North Korea has opened an account with the global video-sharing website YouTube, uploading clips praising the isolated communist state and denying allegations that it sank a South Korean warship.

Eleven clips were found Tuesday under the name of uriminzokkiri, a North Korean government website.

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NKorea Threatens to Retaliate Against SKorea Over Naval Drills

North Korea's military threatened Tuesday to retaliate against South Korea over its planned naval drills this week near their disputed sea border.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency said that the military would crush the naval drills with a powerful physical blow and warned all civilian ships to stay away from areas near the sea border.

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Wacky World Cup Bets Get Punters Going

Drugs scandals, shark attacks, head-butting, insults, stamping on someone's genitals and the appearance of Jesus Christ: these are just some of the things which can be bet on at the World Cup.

British bookmakers -- who are predicting they will handle a record-breaking one billion pounds (1.2 billion euros, 1.4 billion dollars) on the tournament -- are taking bets on all manner of bizarre events in South Africa.

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Ahmadinejad Says U.N. Sanctions Should Be 'Thrown in Trash Bin'

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad led a chorus of defiant Iranian criticism of new U.N. sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic on Wednesday, saying they deserved to be "thrown in the trash bin."

"These resolutions are not worth a dime for the Iranian nation," he said.

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Putin: Israeli Flotilla Raid Must Not Be Repeated, Iran Sanctions Ineffective

Israel's deadly raid on an aid flotilla for Gaza was a tragedy that demands detailed investigation and must not be repeated, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told Agence France Presse in an interview.

"What is especially tragic is that this act was carried out in neutral waters," the Russian prime minister said in a discussion late Monday in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi.

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